Breakfast Buffet: Virginia stuns shorthanded Minnesota

Jeff Eisenberg

Pull up a chair and sit down at the breakfast buffet, an assortment of all the freshest newsworthy college hoops stories on the net. To make a submission, contact me via email or Twitter.

• Nobody else in the top 25 had five better wins than Minnesota, but now nobody has a more embarrassing loss either. Playing without starting point guard Al Nolen, the Gophers blew a 10-point halftime lead and lost 87-79 at home to a middling Virginia team that both Stanford and Washington blew away earlier this month.

• Seven Virginia Military Institute players scored at least 16 points on Monday as the run-and-gun Keydets unleashed a scoring barrage on overmatched Central Pennsylvania College in a 151-92 shellacking. Those 151 points were only five short of VMI's all-time high but 35 points less than the all-time scoring record set by LMU against U.S. International in 1991.

• It's been five-plus years North Carolina bested Illinois in one of the better national title games in recent memory, but members of this current Illini squad still view Tuesday's matchup with the Tar Heels as potential redemption for that loss. "We have to stick up for the guys that came before us and try to steal one back for us," senior Bill Cole told the Chicago Tribune.

• Had Long Beach State's Dan Monson accepted Washington's offer to be its next coach in 2002, he might be on the other bench instead of Lorenzo Romar for tonight's matchup between the Huskies and 49ers. "At that point, Minnesota had one losing season in 15 years and this place had maybe three winning seasons (in 15 years)," Monson told the Seattle Times. "Minnesota was averaging 13,000-15,000 (fans), and they were averaging 3,000 people at that time."

• Struggling Butler really needs a victory against undefeated Loyola on Tuesday night, but the Bulldogs will have to do it without one of their top players. Point guard Ronald Nored will sit out at least one more game as a result of concussion-like symptoms from a collision during Butler's win over Siena last week.

• Big West favorite UCSB's 2-3 start is a tad disappointing, but the Gauchos can't blame star Orlando Johnson for their troubles. The reigning conference player of the year has averaged a ridiculous 24.6 points and 5.8 rebounds so far this season, good enough for UCSB to release this slick promotional video in his honor.

• The general consensus on TCU joining the Big East seems to be that it's a good move for both sides but one that comes at the expense of the conference's basketball well-being. As for the Horned Frogs, they need to decide if they're going to increase their commitmentt to basketball or risk being a doormat in the rugged Big East.

• If TCU's fledgling basketball program is unworthy of inclusion in a BCS conference, what does that make USC? The wildly inconsistent Trojans sustained an 81-69 setback at the hands of the Horned Frogs, lowering their record to 4-4 after previous losses to the likes of Rider, Bradley and Nebraska.

Memphis covets an invitation from the Big East, so seeing TCU get one instead only emphasizes the need for the Tigers to rebuild their woeful football program and become a more viable option. "When the Big East takes a school from Texas, that tells you (it's not a decision based on geography)," athletic director R.C. Johnson told the Commercial Appeal.

Missouri carries a top-ten ranking and a 6-0 record into its first true test of the season against Georgetown on Tuesday night, but in many ways that unblemished start is deceiving. The Tigers led woeful Arkansas Pine Bluff by just two points at halftime on Sunday and also struggled to put away lightly regarded Western Illinois and Wyoming earlier this month.